Iranian authorities arrested an Iranian-American businessman who’d pushed for better ties between the two countries, bringing to four the number of people with dual citizenship imprisoned in Iran in recent years, according to reports.
Siamak Namazi, the head of strategic planning at Crescent Petroleum Co., is a businessman from Dubai, according to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. Namazi, who is in his early 40s, was arrested about two weeks ago as he visited relatives in Tehran, according to the Journal. Both news organizations credited unnamed sources.
In recent weeks, Iranian businessmen with ties to foreign companies have been arrested, interrogated and warned about entering into economic concerns controlled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the Journal reports, crediting the information to businessmen interviewed in and outside of Iran.
Namazi’s father was governor of an Iranian province and Namazi came to the United States in 1983 as a boy, the Post reports. He later returned to Iran to serve in the military and has consulted on business deals in Iran for about 10 years, according to the Post.
One of the other three arrested in Iran is Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who was arrested more than a year ago and was recently convicted in an espionage trial.
In 1999, Namazi coauthored a paper discussing ways to form an Iranian-American lobby in the United States, according to the News About Iran website.
In July, the United States and other countries reached an agreement with Iran that would bar the country from building a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting sanctions.
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